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Survey: US Doctors Support Medical Marijuana



Buffalo, NY (WBEN/AP) - Has America's opinion on marijuana been cemented as pro-pot?

A new survey released by WebMD finds that 67% of doctors in the US believe medical marijuana should be an option for their patients, and 50% of doctors in states where medical marijuana is not legal say it should be legalized.

"It doesn't surprise me," says Dr. Steven Lakomy, an emergency physician at Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston. "It's a relatively safe drug, it does have utility in certain conditions, and I think it would be beneficial and obviously a majority of physicians agree."

Lakomy says that he's shocked medical marijuana is not an option for patients in New York State. "Despite a lot of misinformation that's out there, it's very safe. It really is not a very addictive substance."

Besides the drug's negative perception, Lakomy says that a major roadblock to legalization of medical marijuana is the fact that the drug is illegal, which makes it extremely difficult to conduct studies that could prove misconceptions about the drug are wrong.

Nationwide, total marijuana legalization seems inevitable to three-fourths of Americans, whether they support it or not.
  
That's according to a new poll out Wednesday by the Pew Research Center on the nation's shifting attitudes about drug policy.
  
The survey also suggested that the public supports a national move away from mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders by a nearly 2-1 margin.
  
The Pew poll showed growing public acceptance of pot use. Just 15 percent said they would be bothered if people in their neighborhood used marijuana in their own homes, though 63 percent said they would be bothered by use in public.
  
The telephone survey of 1,821 adults was conducted Feb. 14-23. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

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